Upgrading Your Own Personal Operating System

the shopping cart before the horse

Upgrading Your Own Personal Operating System

The Shopping Cart Before the Horse – Part III

Despite the odds against small business survival, I remain CEO of our company: Chief Entrepreneurial Optimist. Small business is one of the greatest catalysts I know for growing and transforming people into all that they were intended to be.

Your business is a reflection of you. Whatever we are as entrepreneurs, the sum-total of our person, our health, our personal habits–good or bad, along with everything we believe about the world will eventually manifest itself in our businesses. One of the biggest problems for any us is the fact that we take ourselves to work. How do I know this? I also am an entrepreneur. I know that if I am the source of any problem, I am usually the last employee to know.

David Rose, CEO of the New York Angels, says:

“The number one thing I look at when making a startup investment is the quality of the entrepreneur. In this, I–and a majority of professional angel investors—follow the old adage: ‘bet on the jockey, not the horse,’ . . . . If I have to choose between a great business idea and a great entrepreneur, I’ll take the entrepreneur every time.”

If the entrepreneur affects business valuation, you would think that becoming the best person that we can be would be a top priority. But we are so busy wearing all the hats, that we forget to put on our own ball cap. Putting yourself on your priority list does seem a bit selfish. Let me assure you, it is not. (Stay tuned for more on this in next week’s post!) When we consider ourselves in our business role, we often think only of our academic skill set. But if our business is to survive, we must be a whole person– physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

What kind of person do you need to be so that you can do what you need to do? Here are some daily investments every entrepreneur needs to make:

Invest in your health. Though it is not on the balance sheet, your health is your most important asset. Small business is a marathon. How can you go the long haul if your health is deteriorating daily by a lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and normal to high levels of stress? If you will not care for yourself, plan for health concerns to rock your business world.

Invest in your head. What skills do you need to bring your plans to fruition? Whatever you need to learn, remember there is no learning curve left these days–it goes straight up. If you are not investing some time every week to stay on top of your industry, you are getting left behind.

Invest in your heart. Simply put, we are what we believe. What do you believe about yourself and your abilities? Any unfinished business before starting this one? Do you approach opportunities as an optimist or a pessimist? Do you find time to refuel so that you can stay refreshed? What do you need to do to change your perspective so you can approach the world with more dignity and grace?

Every entrepreneur will eventually experience some event or circumstance that brings them up short. Consider each experience a chance to upgrade your personal operating system. You will grow and stretch and develop skills right along with our plans.

Before you can lead others, you have to lead yourself. Before we can behave differently, we must think differently. Most importantly, we must be before we can do, and until we invest in our own personal growth, we have the shopping cart before the horse.

What is one way you can nourish your own growth this week?

Why do we, a graphic design company, care about the way you run your company? Because no matter how beautiful, your external graphics will always reflect the strength of your internal management. Entrepreneurs are famous for getting the cart before the horse, and all this month, we are discussing five of the most common ways that entrepreneurs are hitching their horses incorrectly. Since this is the new millennia, we will at least update the idiom. The vehicle of commerce is now a shopping cart. Either way, wooden or metal, horses still do not know what to do when the cart is in front. Stay tuned for Part IV next week!